ALTON — Dec. 21, 2014, changed James Schwank’s life forever.
The 23-year-old college student from Godfrey was critically injured in a car accident, sustaining a C6 spinal cord injury, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down with limited use of his arms and hands.
The journey back to health has been a difficult and expensive path, and friends and family are holding a “Cash Bash” fundraiser to help from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Owl’s Club, 227 Blair Ave. in Alton.
A $100 ticket includes food, limited drinks for two and chances at cash prizes ranging from $100 to $2,000. A $25 ticket includes entry, food and limited drinks per person. There also will be a silent auction, 50/50, games and more.
Schwank is a member of St. Ambrose Parish in Godfrey, attended Missouri Military Academy, and is an Eagle Scout, rugby player and high school state wrestling medalist.
Following his injury, he recovered at Barnes Hospital and SSM Rehab in St. Louis. Most recently, he has been rehabilitating at the Frazier Institute in Louisville, Ky., the lead clinic for the Christopher and Dana Reeve NeuroRecovery Network. He says he hopes ongoing therapy eventually will lead to the ability to walk again.
“He has excelled beyond all of our hopes and expectations,” Julie Dooley, a family friend who is helping with the event, said. “He wants to eventually return to the area and finish his education.”
Medical bills, accessible housing, home physical therapy equipment and transportation are a few of the expenses the family is facing in the coming years. They have chosen the HelpHOPELive organization, a nonprofit organization, to assist with fundraising. All donations are tax-deductible.
To donate online, go to www.HelpHOPELive.org and search for James Schwank.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at http://bit.ly/cashbashjames or call (618) 830-3050 for information.
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